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Living Abroad in Costa Rica
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Juan Santamaria International Airport, just outside of San Jose
Excerpted from Living Abroad in Costa Rica

How do I get there?

By air is by far the easiest way to get to Costa Rica, and although fares fluctuate, for the past several years there have been some great deals available, especially if you’re flexible about when you can fly. More than one million people come to Costa Rica every year, and most arrive by plane.

Costa Rica is under 3 hours by air from Miami, about 5 hours from New York City, 7 hours from Los Angeles and 8.5 hours from Toronto. More than 30 international flights arrive daily at Juan Santamaría International Airport, half an hour northwest of the capital city of San José. Every year, carriers add more flights and more carriers get in the game. Flying from North America, you can choose from Air Canada, American Airlines, America West, Continental, Delta, LACSA (Costa Rica’s airline), Mexicana, Northwest, TACA (the Central American airline), and United (see Links for airline websites), not to mention special charter flights that come and go as demand dictates. Remember that charter flights seldom show up when you do web searches for the best airfare deals—call a travel agent or make direct contact with package tour companies.

Direct flights are available from many cities, including New York, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas/Forth Worth, Houston, and Los Angeles. Other cities require a brief stop and sometimes a plane change, though every year it gets easier to get to San José quickly and painlessly. From San Francisco, for instance, you can get a flight that stops briefly in San Salvador and then arrives in San José about 8 hours after takeoff in California. A favorite for those able to sleep on the plane is LACSA flight 561, which leaves San Francisco at 1:15 am and arrives in Costa Rica before ten in the morning.

More and more international flights are becoming available to the airport in Liberia, just half an hour from the Pacific Ocean.

Taxis from the airport

There’s s taxi stand at the airport, where you can buy a voucher and then be ushered into one of the waiting cabs. A trip from the airport to San Jose costs about $13 (you can pay in dollars or colones).

If you’ve rented a car, the agency will often pick you up at the airport and take you to their facility, where you pick up your car.




For more information, see Living Abroad in Costa Rica.

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